Hospitality Award goes to long-time lodging local
Saying "This town is a great place to live, play and work," Teri Whitney encourages positive thinking.
The Park City Chamber of Commerce gives a hospitality award every year in the name of Myles Rademan. Rademan has a long history with Park City, starting in 1986 when he took a job at city hall as planning director. He was the director of information for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Now he’s the head of the city’s Leadership program.
On Monday afternoon at the Park City Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon at the Pendry hotel, Park City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff shared a nugget of Rademan’s wisdom about welcoming guests.
“His philosophy is grounded in the belief that Park City is not ours, but ours to share," said Wesselhoff. "He believes that the key ingredient of our success is our authentic, welcoming, hospitality.”
Rademan told the audience that back in the day, city leaders were eager to attract tourists and development. But now, there seems to be a backlash against growth. Rademan said the slogan “Keep Park City Park City” fits nicely on a bumper sticker, but it’s pretty weak on details and strategy.
"It doesn’t answer some of the hard questions, like just how do we keep Park City, Park City? Do we really have the power and the tools necessary to manage the growth that we’re experiencing?" Rademan asked. "And how do we honor the private property rights that most of us enjoy? Are we being inauthentic and insincere when we say Keep Park City Park City? It’s a question that I grapple with."
This year’s recipient of the Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award is Teri Whitney.
Whitney has lived in Park City since 1977 and has been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. She was in the first leadership class of Park City, and helped start the Park City Area Lodging Association in 1987. Whitney worked for the Snowflower first as a reservation manager, then became partner and general manager until her retirement in 2021. She still works as a consultant.
Whitney told the audience that back in the day, the chamber, government, and businesses worked as one to increase tourism. But times have changed.
"And I know there’s a ton of frustration about the growth and the changes that occurred in our town. But if you dig deep and you remain positive. This town is a great place to live, play and work." Whitney continued, "So I just ask that you all continue to work together, more importantly support each other. It’s so important. Just keep the positive flow because we have a great community and great people that work here and play here."
President of Park City Lodging Rhonda Sideris introduced Whitney and talked about her dedication to her team through the evolution of Park City over the past four decades. Sideris mentioned many of Whitney’s employees have been with her for more than 20 years and shared how one of them spoke about their boss.
“Teri’s leadership inspired us daily to do our best. Her empathy and love for all of her employees was shown to us every single day," Sideris quoted. "Her door was always open to help us with whatever we needed whether personal or business. She always made sure we were supported, the guests were supported and the owners were supported. She truly was someone very special to work with. She made coming to work a wonderful place to be and she always made it fun." Sideris added, "That’s Teri."
Whitney was also on the Park City Chamber Board of Directors and the Summit County Restaurant Tax Committee and served on the board of Ski Utah. The audience of hundreds of business and community leaders gave her a standing ovation. She told them she was humbled by the award.